Monthly Archives:

July 2015

Specials

The Legend of Kagan’s Bono.

July 22, 2015

The story below is a midnight inspiration for an inside joke among no more than three people in 3D111. I’ve put too much effort into the writing and didn’t want to lose it, so here it is. If you don’t get it, don’t worry, just enjoy the narrative for itself. It all began with this video and youtube’s automatic subtitles, at the 1:03 mark.

It finally came to me, the explanation for the myth, and the reason we are not encouraged by the school to model real people:

So, in the past, VFS had this insanely good student. He always knew he’d go for modeling. He aced all modeling assignments in less than a few days. His only weakness, and what he wanted to work while at VFS was character modeling, to photorealistic levels.

Coming from the UK, his childhood was filled with U2 songs, so for his end of Term 2 pitch, he said he wanted to model the entire band, posed as if they were performing. He was adamant, and even though everyone said he wouldn’t have enough time for the task, he went ahead and started modeling the lead singer. He obsessed about quality, he wanted to do 4k renders and kept on pushing details into the model and textures, getting to the point of having geometry for skin pores on Vox’s face.

Term 4 went by, Term 5 was just a flicker. He was doing good work, yes, but not anywhere near the amount of things he had set out to do. By Mid Term 6’s Presentation, all he had was the upper chest and head of Bono Vox, real to the point that Bono’s mom wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a photograph of her son and a rendered image.

Instructors came down on him, but hey, he had done something amazing, so it wasn’t entirely a waste of time. Everyone hated the guy for monopolizing the render farm and classrooms. Feeling proud of his master piece, this innocent student sent a message to the guy who was his inspiration along the year, his reference, actually, being more specific, to his AGENT. No reply.

Finally, graduation came down and along with it, a huge lawsuit against the school for “stealing the looks of Mr. Vox”. The course administration was baffled, not able to understand how all that paperwork and lawyers got their timing so precise around the main event highlighting their student’s work.

It turns out that email the kid sent out included a high-res still render and an invitation for the Grad. Dates, addresses and names included.

Sorting stuff out on the fly, VFS decided to go through with graduation, but held back on that particular reel, which wasn’t projected with the others. Kagan was called up on the stage to get his diploma without actually presenting anything to the audience. His smile outshined all his classmates, though. No one understood his reasons until a few hours later.

It end’s up Bono Vox had come to Vancouver, in person, to meet this kid who apparently knew and idolized him so much. Kagan never showed his work before an audience, but he had the pleasure to present it to the one guy who mattered. For about twenty five minutes he rambled about the level of detail, textures, poly count, rigging and being production ready. Then the lawyers copied his files and deleted the originals. As his sole demand, Kagan requested a photograph with his idol, which was taken on site, the very studio we attended.

Hence, whenever someone is going for a risky move during school, something that might turn out great or a massive failure, they call it “Kagan’s Bono”. A gem never seen, but that everyone knows it exists. And if you don’t think any of this is true, try checking the only framed photograph on the Staff Area. Can you tell if it’s a render or a real photograph?

Day-to-Day

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

July 20, 2015

Ok, agora menos euforia que o post anterior.

A vida em Vancouver durante o verão é sucesso demais. Devido a uma série de decisões sobre como encarar a vida, tenho tido bastante tempo “livre”, e coloco entre aspas porque tenho aplicado esse tempo no meu projeto pessoal de vídeos de lentes. Não tô obcecado com ele, to me divertindo bastante filmando coisas por minha conta, sem a obrigação de contar uma história narrativa, ou atender expectativas alheias. Tem horas que fico de saco cheio e vou fazer outras coisas, ou enrolo pra fazer algumas partes, e é isso aí. Tenho tocado a VFS também com muito mais calma, tenho minhas metas, e vou trabalhar durante a semana, mas não tenho planos de mexer em nenhum dos meus arquivos durante finais de semana, ou quando estiver em casa. Como essa divisão entre casa e trabalho não é a coisa mais fácil pra mim, resolvi que a divisão ia ser física e, portanto, inquestionável.

Nesse fim de semana a gente se reuniu pra jogar. Sexta, depois da Term 6 presentation, eu e o Fernão fomos pra casa do Nicko e ficamos alucinando no Left 4 Dead. Depois, no Sábado de manhã eu fiz uma tonelada de packshots pra lentes que estou filmando reviews, resgatei a 50D que chegou no correio e me matei mais umas horinhas até fazer a Foton-A encaixar direito nela (tava fazendo um ângulo de 90 graus em relação à direção certa, uma beleza! Quase desmontei a lente pra resolver, tava corajoso. De tarde o Paul veio pra cá pra casa, e o Fernão apareceu um pouco depois. Ficamos jogando até todo mundo ficar zumbi de sono. Comprei uma melancia GIGANTESCA e resolvi experimentar um jeito novo de cortar o recheio em cubinhos. Deu certo, mas preciso de uma faca bem maior pra funcionar 100%. Falando em melancia, era uma fruta que sempre achei muito sem graça, sem gosto, além da encheção de saco dos caroços. Claro, frutas canadenses são muito doidas, e melancia aqui não tem caroço. Além disso, são surrealmente doces. Acabei de devorar a desgraçada hoje no café da manhã.

Nessa semana tenho planos de testar minhas técnicas culinárias fazendo um feijão que minha mãe me ensinou. Devo fazer isso na quarta ou quinta.

Tô andando de bike que nem maluco. O plano de ir na seawall três vezes por semana foi por água abaixo e tô indo todos os dias mesmo, além do tradicional trajeto casa-escola-casa. É MUITO relaxante andar de bike ouvindo música e ligar um foda-se pra tudo, sentindo só o corpo fazer esse esforço de transporte. No fim do caminho tem uma ladeira escrotíssima, subindo a Bute St., que ainda não consegui subir inteira de bike. Ontem e anteontem eu subi 2/3 dela, hoje nem tive pique pra começar. Dia de semana eu não vou me matar andando no parque, porque não posso chegar em casa e deitar pra descansar logo em seguida!

Mais coisas de ontem: depois de acordar ao meio dia, o Paul me ajudou a finalmente fazer meu currículo de VFX e, tomando vergonha na cara, tirei cinco minutinhos pra fazer meu cartão de visitas. De tarde eu gravei umas locuções para a OLD, uma versão sonora da revista para deficientes visuais, incluindo descrições detalhadas das fotografias. Nunca tinha feito isso antes, na vida. Foi divertido. Editar tudo foi menos divertido, mas não chegou a ser tedioso. Eram quatro entrevistas e intercalei cada uma delas com um episódio da segunda temporada de True Detective. Que série absurda.

Agora tô aqui, escrevendo esse post e pensando sobre uma versão turbinada do meu TCC, com muito mais de tudo, pra tentar vender em formato de PDF na net mesmo. O índice é promissor, mas vai ter muita pesquisa, e muito raciocínio escrevendo em inglês. Dai-me coragem!

E vamos nessa!

Ah, viva o Spotify, to viciado nesse treco de música. Tava precisando descobrir música nova faz tempo.

Anamorphic

Anamorphic Chop Shop – Unboxing the Rectilux

July 18, 2015

The Rectilux has been out for a little while and I’m just getting started talking about it. It’s an amazing lens, and it requires further testing, as I’ll be doing over the next weeks!

USEFUL LINKS:

All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

You can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Hi, my name is Tito Ferradans and this is an extra video for Anamorphic on a Budget. Today I’ll be talking briefly about unboxing my Rectilux 3FF-W

I know it’s a little late, the lens has been around for a few weeks, but there’s still plenty of questions about it.

I have bought my fair share of lenses and the Rectilux has had the best packaging so far, especially when considering the volume/protection ratio. All the bits and pieces are carefully wrapped in separate rolls, here’s the main glass and metal body with the focus guard, the Rectigrip, and each set of screws.

As John Barlow contacted us through email, some people could experience problems with the screws so he shipped replacements for everyone. In my case I was missing two M3 screws and the ones that came were a little too short. Instead of waiting for my replacements, I bought a set of 20mm M3 screws at a regular hardwre store, which were about 2mm too long. But they worked and only costed me extra $3.

There were a couple of details I’d like to have on the package, though. Not complex-redesigning stuff, starting with lens caps, front and back. It makes me a little scared going out on the field without protection for the glass while it’s not being used, so I ordered a regular, cheap, 95mm front cap off ebay, and a 67mm screw cap for the back.

Second, I’d LOVE to have a pretty printed version of the owner’s manual. We got in our emails, but I think I’m vintage and like having some sheets of paper around. Also, you don’t always have a computer or phone on set to check the manual, so it would be a nice finishing touch to the product.

This is it for the video. I’ve been very impressed with this lens so far and will soon post more information about it. Subscribe to know when it’s up and check my blog for some extra material.

Tito Ferradans signing out.

Anamorphic

Anamorphic Chop Shop – Century Optics Bayonet to 52mm

July 18, 2015

A very quick guide showing how to replace the bayonet mount on the Century Optics 16:9 adapters with 52mm filter threads so it can be used with regular lenses.

USEFUL LINKS:

All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

You can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

I’m Tito Ferradans and this is Anamorphic Chop Shop. Today I’ll go over modding the Century Optics adapter from bayonet mount to 52mm threads.

First off, you’ll need the adapter, a 52-67mm step up ring, a phillips screwdriver, #00, #0 or #1, any of these will work. You’ll also need cutting pliers if your Century has a Canon bayonet.

The version I have here is the Sony bayonet, for the VX2000, which is VERY easy to mod. First remove the screw on the side, then unscrew the lock off.


The Canon bayonet (for the GL1, GL2) has a stopper inside, while the Sony doesn’t. You’ll need to use the pliers to cut a slice in the step ring to fit the stopper, otherwise it won’t be possible to reassemble the lens. Luckily for us, this Sony version just needs you to sandwich the step ring between the main body of the lens and the lock. The 52mm thread side of the ring will fit snuggly around the rear element.

Now just screw back the lock and put the little screw back into it’s spot. Tighten it well so neither the bayonet lock rotates nor the step ring inside it, messing with the anamorphic’s alignment.

As explained in the Century review, you can use an 82-72 or 77-72mm step down ring with electrical tape to create front threads, and voila, now you have a production ready adapter!

Special thanks to Matt Leaf for lending me the lens for this video.

Subscribe for more anamorphic content and visit my blog for the full Anamorphic on a Budget guide!

Day-to-Day

It Feels Good to be Back.

July 16, 2015

Era pra ter escrito esse post logo que cheguei aqui, mas os dias foram passando tão cheios de atividades que acabei enrolando até hoje, quando as atividades ainda não acabaram, mas tenho que esperar uma hora (literalmente) pra renderizar o projeto aqui na VFS, para a apresentação de amanhã.

Chegamos por aqui no comecinho de Julho, viemos todos, eu, Lila, meu pai e minha mãe. Eu pra ficar, eles pra passarem pouco mais de duas semanas. Foram embora hoje, levei todo mundo no aeroporto e voltei direto pra escola pra poder começar o ritmo de trabalho que pretendo seguir daqui pra frente. Antes disso, só tava vindo pra aula quando era obrigatório mesmo, e organizando os planos. Tô terminando o último shot do meu demo reel, AFINAL. Logo mais posto ele no youtube, vimeo, instagram e o escambau!

Bom, nesses dezesseis dias de caos completo e atividades enlouquecedoras tivemos muitas invenções de receitas – com minha super dieta restrita, tenho que aprender a fazer alguma comida que preste, senão fico só com frutas e legumes. Aí me quebra. Aprendi um arroz integral muitcho louco, que pode misturar com literalmente qualquer coisa, e uma feijoada vegetariana, usando feijão enlatado e tofu defumado. Pois é, aquele queijo SEM GRAÇA, sem consistência e sem sabor, quando defumado faz maravilhas. Tem muito tempo que não como uma feijoada “legítima”, mas essa invenção de minha mãe não deixa nada a dever. Na verdade, é tão sucesso que depois não bate aquele peso/cansaço de comer muito. Tô com um tupperware cheio na geladeira, e almoçando isso por vários dias seguidos.

Nas atividades turísticas da viagem tivemos idas ao Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon, North Vancouver, Granville Island, rodar pra cima e pra baixo em downtown, comprar coisas pela internet, mudar de um hotel pro outro, se amontoar todo mundo em um quartinho – nosso apartamento microscópico alojou a família toda por quase uma semana!

Fizemos o tradicional passeio “bem vindo a Vancouver” de ida ao Walmart e posterior lanchinho do lado de fora, com o Sr. Paul H. Paulino, que colou na gente vários dias. Tive até noites em claro jogando Left 4 Dead com o Nicko, Fernão e Paul, ou Catan, com os já mencionados e incluindo Lila e a Gabi Akashi, que apareceu por aqui com a irmã pra passar um tempo.

Andei de bike. Pra caralho. Com Lila. Fizemos a seawall (15km) três dias seguidos, de manhã cedo. Tô pensando em ir de novo no fim de semana, tentar ir umas vezes de noite pra ver como é a paisagem.

Agora que comecei a falar de Lila, vou até aprofundar o assunto. A gente fez MUITA coisa em parceria. Fotos pra ela, testes de lente pra mim, vários tipos, todos os horários, qualquer tarefa. Anamórficas mil, mais outras tantas loucuras pela rua com as máscaras de raposa e vaca que Lila tinha trazido pra uns projetos dela. O jeito mais fácil de traduzir é que um compra a idéia do outro, e acrescenta mais um tanto.






Testes com o Rectilux

Pegamos uma onda de calor ABSURDA aqui. Começaram a rolar vários wildfires pelo estado e em um desses dias a cidade amanheceu ABSOLUTAMENTE coberta em fumaça. Não era neblina. Era FUMAÇA. Amarela, com cheiro de queimado. Parecia coisa de outro mundo. Tem uma pá de fotos rodando pela net. Nesse dia, eu e Lila saímos pra andar de bike e escoltamos alguns pontos de interesse no trecho casa-Stanley Park, para fotos que dona Lila tinha em mente. Torcemos pra fumaça não se dissipar completamente. No dia seguinte, de manhã cedo, carregamos câmera, lençol vermelho, figurino e tentamos, do melhor jeito possível, atingir o objetivo das fotos. As minhas versões estão aí embaixo. Lila deve publicar as dela no futuro.

A idéia era passar uma sensação meio de sonho, de vazio, um lugar apto a receber qualquer coisa, sem nada muito pré-definido. O ambiente beira-mar somado à fumaça criava exatamente o feeling monocromático desejado. Claro, rola um bocado de Photoshop aí pelo meio, fotógrafo que se preza não descarta a ferramenta! Tem vezes que a realidade não é suficiente!







Por fim, chegando ao evento que desencadeou essa vinda de todo mundo para terras canadenses: minha formatura na VFS. Sim, eu larguei o curso no fim, e tô cumprindo o tempo que falta, mas como meu demo reel já tava quase pronto, deu pra convencer a administração a deixarem me formar com minha turma original, com quem eu passei onze meses de aperto e aventuras, 3D111.

Depois vou escrever direito sobre a turma, mas a formatura em si foi MUITO divertido. Seis meses de trabalho pra resultar em um minuto e meio de filme. Ver o projeto no telão dá outro gás pra terminar tudo lindo e maravilhoso. Fiquei tão aturdido com os aplausos – e o Fernão me atacando na cadeira do lado! hahahaha – que no fim tive que perguntar se meus créditos passaram direito. No dia anterior à formatura, recrutei Lila pra uma missão muito especial: me ajudar a achar uma roupa chique-mas-não-tão-chique-a-ponto-de-não-ser-minha-cara. Meu pai e minha mãe não podiam perder essa e foram com a gente, dando mil pitacos no processo. No fim das contas, acho que fiquei bem apresentável!



Depois da projeção a gente foi pro café da VFS, onde tinha umas comidinhas e champagne. Depois de lá, fomos de galera lá pra casa, arrastando o Paul, Fernão e Maísa, onde ficamos conversando até a hora de ir pro bar encontrar com a galera da sala. Lá a gente ficou conversando mais mil horas e voltamos pra casa de madrugada. Deixamos Lila no hotel e o Paul dormiu lá em casa. Não jogamos L4D nessa noite, coisa rara!

Depois saí com Lila mais algumas vezes pra comprar roupinhas novas – chega de camisas de $3 do Walmart -, fui com minha mãe ao mercado – ponto turístico mais visitado durante toda a viagem, sem dúvidas – e trouxe todo mundo para conhecer a VFS por dentro, e entender como funciona a maluquice onde quase perdi o juízo.

Ainda não deu pra registar a partida do povo, devo escrever mais um tanto sobre esses últimos dias quando passar o frenesi de Presentation – amanhã o dia todo. Já temos Catan e Left 4 Dead marcados pra esse fim de semana, porque a vida não PODE ser tão séria como tava levando!

Anamorphic

Anamorphic on a Budget – Century Optics 16:9 Ratio Converter

July 11, 2015

In this episode I talk about one of the cheapest anamorphics out there, great for starters and a very cheap lens to have around. The Century Optics is one of the more modern adapters, developed for the DV market. Suggestions are always welcome in the comments below! :)

USEFUL LINKS:

All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

You can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

OVERVIEW
Alright! Finally home, shooting properly! Let’s get this show on the road! I’m Tito Ferradans and this is Anamorphic on a Budget Video Reviews. Today we’re talking about the Century Optics 16:9 anamorphic adapter. This little bugger goes by many names and brands, all of them almost equal regarding their strengths and weaknesses.

They were made during the 90s, when the 16:9 aspect ratio was becoming popular but there were still a large amount of good 4:3 video cameras around. Made by Optex, Soligor and mostly Century Optics, these adapters have a 1.33 squeeze factor that converts 4:3 into 16:9. Fortunately for us, 16:9 becomes 2.35:1, our beloved Cinemascope aspect ratio.

Since there was a plethora of cameras with different mounts around, these little adapters have regular threads such as 37 and 58mm but also some strange bayonet mounts. The one I’m using now is the most desired 58mm version, but check below for a quick and dirty tutorial of how to adapt threads into a bayo mounted Century! Unfortunately, they don’t have front threads, but Redstan has clamps specially designed for them. It’s also very easy to stick a step ring at front, using electrical tape.

Here I used an 82-72mm step ring, which will introduce some vignetting on wider lenses, but make the adapter much easier to use since now I can put diopters in front of it.

QUICK GUIDE – CONVERTING A BAYO MOUNT INTO A 52mm THREAD
The first step is to remove the small screw on the side of the Bayonet mount (see picture below). Then, rotate the bayonet lock until it comes off. You’ll see a kind of “pin” on the inside of it.

Now, get a 52-67mm step up ring and, using pliers, carve a cut/dent that can fit around the “pin” mentioned on the previous step. Be careful not to bend the 52mm part of the step ring. Fit it on the back of the Century. The 52mm thread should fit snuggly around the rear glass element. Now, put the bayonet lock back, matching its “pin” to the cut in the step ring. The last step is to put back the small screw on the side, so it doesn’t come off.

And, you’re done!

These adapters have a metal body and weighs around 250g. Alignment is adjusted by loosening the tiny screw on the side and rotating the front element. Then, tightening the screw back in place. Be careful with this piece, since it can come off and it’s very easy to lose it.

PRICE and AVAILABILITY
These aren’t so hard to find – the 58mm is harder than the other models – either on ebay or craigslist and such. It’s actually easy to find them with owners of old DV gear that don’t even know what they’re holding. Prices range from 350 to 800 bucks, depending on the quality of the glass and cosmetics.

RESOLUTION
Being a fixed focus adapter, in which all the focusing is done on the taking lens, quality can take a hit if you don’t use it with optimal settings. Distances closer than 4 or 5 meters already get the Century struggling. Diopters are a must and with them you can get pretty good detail with this cheap lens and a fast setup.

Edges are pretty bad, though, doesn’t matter the aperture. Lots of softness and chromatic aberration, much more visible with wider lenses.


MIR 1b CENTER

MIR 1b CORNERS


Helios 44-2 CENTER

Helios 44-2 CORNERS

On top of that, the Century doesn’t like neither long lenses nor large apertures. You’ll need diopters for both situations since it won’t achieve focus past 85mm, not even on its original focus range, from 5m to infinity, and will create terrible looking images below f/5.6


Jupiter 9 CENTER

Jupiter 9 CORNERS


Tair 11 CENTER

Tair 11 CORNERS

You can also check the link for the downloadable raw images of the tests.

FLARES
Finally something that can flare! Its strong blue flares are very sci-fi and easy to achieve. Sunlight does wonders and any direct light source can cause them. I find them very attractive. You can see some better ones at Vintage Lenses for Video tests.

SENSOR COVERAGE
A great advantage of this adapter is being able to use wider taking lenses. Here I have an almost vignette free image at 37mm on the 5D3, full frame sensor. Aspect ratio is 2.36:1 instead of 2.4:1 as the previous tests. Vignetting becomes more intense when I add the step ring to use diopters. The only lenses that can beat this are the larger Century WS-13 and the Panasonic LA7200.

WORLD TEST
Whenever I use this adapter I remember I actually like wide angles. Focusing isn’t as fast as an Iscorama, but once you get the hang of diopters and become fast swapping them, one can achieve wonders using this lens. Being lightweight and compatible with wide angles makes the Century a very versatile lens, good for anyone starting with anamorphic lenses. The stretch is so subtle that this adapter doesn’t create ovals, but its flares are just beautiful.

This is the end for this episode, thanks for watching, I’m Tito Ferradans. Be sure to subscribe for more videos, also check out my blog and previous episodes!

As usual, down here are some extra pictures of the lens along with Redstan’s front clamp. You can also check the Century’s Lens-yclopedia page for more specific information.